Winner: Galway County Comhairle na nÓg
Comhairle na nÓg Chontae na Gaillimhe is the youth council for Galway County and provides a mechanism for young people between the ages of 12 and 18 to have a voice in decision making at a local level. In Galway young people meet up regularly in six local areas and organise a local event where young people from all the schools in the area are invited. They form local committees from which a county-wide committee is formed selecting a key issue on which to take action every couple of years. In 2017, the young people chose the topic of “Supporting Refugees” as their priority issue and are working at local and county level to find ways to support the Syrian refugee families, and especially children who have been resettled in the County.
Group contact: Deirdre Bermingham email@example.com
On the day the judges visited this winning entry, they were greeted by an enthusiastic audience in a packed community centre. This vibrant organisation had chosen supporting refugees for its 2016/2017 theme. Judges heard from youth workers and young refugees how the project identified language as a major obstacle to integration and what steps are now in place to address this. Members of the refugee community shared with the audience how they value the initiative enormously and are benefitting greatly from it on many levels. The efforts of the young people and this organisation inspired the judges by their initiative and forward-thinking.
Runners Up: Attic Youth Café, Longford Town and Oasis Youth Club, Portadown